Why Whatever Actually Happened to Jussie Smollett Doesn’t Matter


Meleah York, Editor-in-Chief

The Jussie Smollett case has had news headlines in its grip for the past two months, with information continuing to surface as times goes on. The recklessness of Chicago PD and contortions by the media have influenced public opinion to be incredibly divided.

Here is what we know about Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s case so far: the alleged attack took place on January 29, after Smollett had received a threat by letter the week before.

Two suspects were taken in by Chicago PD for questioning and released without any charges. The brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, claimed that they were paid by Smollett to orchestrate the attack. Smollett denied the accusations and continues to do so.

Shortly after the brothers came forward, Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts for allegedly lying to police. A week later, Smollett pleads not guilty, and another week later, the charges were dropped after Smollett forfeited his bail and participated in two days of community service.

Smollett continues to claim that he is telling the truth although many believe he is still guilty. The Chicago PD has been proved to have a shady past, and especially because Smollett is a black, openly gay man, there is reason to be skeptical of drawing the conclusion of guilt.

So here’s why none of this matters.

In 2018 more than two dozen transgender women of color were murdered. Their killings were prompted only by these women minding their own business and living their own lives.

This is an epidemic that is getting little, if any, media attention. It’s something that people are getting away with. These murders are not being acknowledged by anyone, including our current administration.

Whatever happened with Jussie Smollett, whatever he did or didn’t do, the media is focusing its attention too much on this case. There are so many greater issues at hand that people need to be aware of in order to make a change.

Hate crimes against these transgender women of color need to be held to a greater importance, because the murder rates are rising and our attention isn’t. How many more deaths are people willing to ignore before they realize that this is an epidemic that won’t slow down?

The messiness of the Smollett case and Chicago PD is not an accurate representation regarding hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people of color. Scroll past the Smollett articles and open your eyes to the realities that are right under your nose.


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